Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 94 / MARCH 1988 / PAGE 57

IBM Personal Computing

Donald B. Trivette

Computer Stew

Once each year I clean my cupboard of all the stuff that is good and worth talking about, but for one reason or another didn't make it into a column. December or January is a logical time to do this—year end and all that—but I'm late, as usual. So here, in the March issue, is a stew concocted from two of last year's left-over goodies.

The Bible As Data

Bryan Moore is an inventor and entrepreneur who developed a major piece of ophthalmological equipment. After he sold his invention to a large company, he turned his energies and talents to his passion—the study of the Bible.

The King James version of the Holy Bible was published in 1611, during the reign of James I of England. There are hundreds of editions of this book in hard-copy form and maybe a dozen computerized versions. But when Bryan Moore investigated biblical computer software, he was disappointed with what he found and thought he could do better. He did. The result is a product called God Speed distributed by Kingdom Age Software (3368 Governor Dr., Suite F-197, San Diego, CA 92122).

God Speed can locate any word or phrase in the 66 books of the Bible—both Old and New Testaments—in less than three seconds. This incredible speed—other software takes as long as 30 minutes—is due to a unique indexing and searching technique Moore devised just for this application. For example, you type "an eye for an eye," and in the twinkling of your own eye the screen displays the three locations where that is found. It doesn't just tell you that it's in Matthew 5:38, First Corinthians 15:52, and Exodus 21:24, but it shows you the phrase within the chapters and verses.

If you know your Bible, you are no doubt astonished and puzzled that "eye for an eye" appears in First Corinthians. And this points out one of the few weaknesses of God Speed. It searches and locates the words that you enter, but it doesn't require that they be consecutive within the verse. The screen shows that First Corinthians 15:52 says, ". . . in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound. ..." The verse meets all requirements—it contains "eye," "for," and "an"—so God Speed reports it as a match.

Unlike some of the other software on the market, God Speed cannot perform sophisticated and lengthy searches based on logical ANDs, ORs, or NORs, but the program is so fast and simple to use that this is easy to forgive. You can manually toss out the verses that don't meet your criteria—and you might learn something in the process.

A menu bar across the top of the screen presents the program's four command choices: Help, Find, Map, and Exit. Press F for Find and then enter the word or words you want to look up. Press M for Map, and the program will show you a distribution for a word—"Love," for example, appears 310 times in 280 verses. You can jump immediately to any book, chapter, or verse by entering its name: GEN 1:1 takes you to the familiar "In the beginning. ..."

God Speed is distributed on seven 5¼-inch disks and requires a hard disk with 2.5 million free bytes to install; the program uses 256K of RAM memory. If you have a color display, the program will display the search words in blue and the words of Jesus in red. A smaller, less-expensive version ($27) covers just the New Testament and can be run from a floppy-disk-based computer.

Apple And Pepsi

If you liked Lee Iacocca's book about his rescue of Chrysler—and enough of you did to keep it on the best-seller's list for several months—then you'll love John Sculley's book, Odyssey, about his adventures at Pepsi-Cola and Apple Computer.

Sculley began his business career as a fast-track executive at Pepsi. He was a shoo-in for the top job but was lured away to become President of Apple Computer by Steven Jobs, one of Apple's cofounders.

Sculley relates many wonderful inside stories about Pepsi and Apple. He tells how he once selected Coke over Pepsi in a blind-taste test; how he first met IBM's legendary Tom Watson, Jr., who swooped out of the clouds piloting his own stunt plane; how Big Blue sprays the apple trees at its corporate headquarters so they won't bear fruit and spoil the lawn.

More importantly, Sculley gives us an insider's view of the running of Apple Computer, how it stumbled and almost failed; and he tells of his painful rescue that cost him his friendship with Jobs. You'll be privy to the clashes in the board room and at the ad agency as Apple positioned itself to challenge IBM.

Even if you know nothing about computers, you'll enjoy this book—it's a good story, well told. Although at $21.95 (Harper & Row, 450 pages), you might want to wait for the paperback edition and use your savings to buy my book, A Quick and Easy Guide to Dow Jones News / Retrieval, from COMPUTE! Books ($10.95). It's not as long nor as entertaining as Mr. Sculley's, but it might help you locate the next Apple Computer.